Visiting Yellowstone National Park this summer? Plan ahead and recreate responsibly
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: May 24, 2021

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – If you plan to travel to Yellowstone National Park this summer, plan ahead and recreate responsibly to protect yourself and this wild and awe-inspiring place.

Summer is Yellowstone’s most popular season. Expect long lines at entrance stations, extremely busy facilities and destinations, as well as delayed travel times due to heavy traffic and wildlife jams. If you want a less crowded experience, arrive early or stay late and avoid main attractions such as Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Norris Geyser Basin during peak hours.

Plan ahead

  • Read the Top Things to Know.
  • Know where you will spend the night. Reserve space in a campground or hotel – these facilities fill far in advance. Camping in the park is only allowed in designated sites within designated campgrounds. Camping is not permitted along roadsides, at overlooks, pullouts, trailheads or other parking areas.
  • Reduce wait times at park entrances. Buy your pass online ahead of time.
  • Check current park conditions for information on road construction, temporary road closures and the backcountry situation report.
  • Expect limited access to cellular phone service and WiFi.
  • Download Yellowstone’s app before you arrive.

Recreate responsibly: Protect yourself and the park

  • Stay at least 100 yards (91 meters) from bears or wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 meters) from all other wildlife (practice safe selfies).
  • Stay on boardwalks and trails in thermal areas.
  • Be bear aware. Carry bear spray. Know how to use it. Be alert. Make noise. Hike in groups. Do not run from a bear.
  • Stash your trash. Recycle what you can and put the rest in bear-resistant trash cans so animals can’t get it. If a can is full, find another.
  • Leave what you find. Don’t take antlers, artifacts, rocks, plants or other objects from the park.
  • Reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you are sick, stay home.
  • If you see someone, in person or online, whose behavior might hurt them, others, or the park, tell a ranger or dial 911.

The park works with partners to safely provide visitor services such as camping, lodging, dining, retail and activities, educational programs, fuel and automotive repair shops and urgent care clinics. The park and its partners will continue to evaluate and adapt to changing COVID-19 guidance and adjust operations as needed.

Check locally or visit www.nps.gov/yell for current information.